How Your Hobby Started Part XXI

Minneapolis tractor

Courtesy of Cliff Johnston, Cedar Falls, Iowa 506.

Frank J. Burris

Content Tools

3904-47th Avenue, S., Seattle, Washington 98118

My 10 HP. International Gas Engine and Allis Chalmers Forage Blower. Blowing grain into grainary from combine. 1966.

It is not the intention to turn this story into a mystery novel, however it is most gratifying to play the part of a sleuth and solve the problems of origin of these antique engines and connect the present owners with the facts of who built his engine and when it was manufactured.

When closing the last chapter, information was received regarding the mystery of who built the English South well engines, as there appeared the words--'Built in U. S. A.'--on the hand hole plate of the crankcase of Anthony Harcombe's engine, of Surrey, England.

From the pictures that appeared in the March-April issue of G. E. M. of this South well engine, the enthusiastic collector, Lester L. Roos of 328 State Street, Geneseo, Illinois compared the pictures with his extensive files of Stover records and also his own 5 HP early vertical Stover engine and concluded the South well engine must have been made by Stover. He was not satisfied with the comparison of pictures, as he wanted positive proof that this engine originated at the Stover Works at Free-port, Illinois. The serial number of this 2 HP South well engine, A3941 was furnished to Lester and his records show that this engine was shipped to the South well Company in England on June 2, 1905. So Anthony Harcombe now has a complete and authentic history of this particular engine with many thanks to His Honor, Lester L. Roos, Mayor of Geneseo, Illinois.

Not only was this one engine shipped at that time, but fourteen 2 HP-all told, and the serial number of each one is on record. Then in July of the same year, there was another shipment of a number of 3 and 5 HP units. If there are collectors in England or elsewhere having South well engines, they can find out from Lester just when they left the Stover factory.

The Columbus Machinery Company of Columbus, Ohio was established in 1849. Their original equipment consisted of various kinds of machinery including steam engines, hoisting equipment and pumping engines. From their catalog of 1908, they offered steam engines in a variety of sizes and also the Corliss design. This information is available by the courtesy of Roger Kriebel of Mainland, Pennsylvania.

A complete line of gasoline engines in different types were built from 3 to 600 HP. Combinations of engines and pumps were offered in a large range of capacities.

The catalog did not indicate a type or designation for these Columbus engines. The smaller sizes were single cylinder, horizontal closed cylinder construction of the four-cycle principle. They had double flywheels, operating in main bearings that were cast as part of the engine frame which was an open crankcase. The usual cast iron base formed the lower part of the engine.

A side lay shaft was operated off the gear on the crankshaft. The fly ball governor, valves and igniter were a function of the lay shaft. The igniter was located in the middle of the water-cooled head. The head was of a special construction in that it had an inner head sealed against compression, and an outer head with water-cooling jacket between the two parts.

The cylinder was bolted to the open crankcase by a flange along the sides. The piston and main bearings were lubricated from glass body brass drip oiler. An unusual feature of the cylinder was an additional port in the bottom which was uncovered like a two-cycle, as the piston reaches the inner dead center position thus expelling burned gases that remained in the combustion space after the working stroke.

The engines were of the hit and miss governor control type and the exhaust valve was held open on the idle strokes and the igniter was also cut out. The igniter points were in contact only when the engine was on a power stroke, thus cutting down on the battery current required. The governor permitted the engine to pick up the load at any point of the cycle.

The valves were in removable valve cages. The connecting rods had adjustable bearings.

Many combinations of equipment were built, and hoisting engine units made in the following capacities, using standard engines for power:

CHART A

HP

RPM

DIA. OF DRUM-IN.

CAPACITY LOAD-LBS.

WEIGHT LBS.

6

275

16

750

2800

8

250

16

1100

3400

10

250

16

1350

3500

12

225

16

1750

4000

15

200

20

2000

4500

20

200

20

2600

5000

25

180

20

3600

7500

The above hoisting engine units were gear-driven with engine mounted on a sub base with two operating levers.

The large size Columbus engines were rated from 150 to 600 HP. They were of the horizontal, single cylinder double acting type with closed cylinder and crosshead type of construction and with a piston shaft outboard bearing at the rear of the engine.

A side shaft driven by a gear on the crankshaft operated the valves which were placed one on top of the cylinder and the other under the cylinder.

The double acting cylinder fired at each end of the stroke and took fuel through the intake valves located at the intake openings at both ends of the cylinder. A throttling governor provided constant speed control, and the igniters were located near the intake valves and operated by the valve pushrods.

Specifications for the standard Columbus engines were as follows:

CHART B

HP

RPM

FLOOR SPACE INCHES

WEIGHT LBS.

3 Vert.

325

30X30

1200

4 Horiz.

275

28X59

2000

6 '

275

28X60

2200

8 '

250

30X65

2800

10 '

250

30X67

3100

12 '

250

32X72

3400

15 '

250

36X80

4800

17 '

200

37X81

5200

20 '

200

40X84

5800

23 '

180

44 X 102

7500

25 '

180

45 X 105

7800

30 '

170

52X118

10,500

35 '

170

54 X 120

11,500

40 '

170

54 X 124

12,500

45 '

160

58 X 130

13,500

50 '

160

58 X 132

15,500

55 '

160

60 X 134

16,000

60 '

160

60 X 136

17,000

Standard portable units consisting of the engine mounted on suitable running gear were made in the following sizes: 6-8-10-12-15-17-20 and 25 HP. All engines were furnished with friction clutch pulleys. They ranged in from 2900 to 8000 lbs.

A complete line of engine gear-driven power pumps of the following specifications were offered:

CHART C

HP

BORE & STROKE PUMP CYI .IN

RPM

HEAD IN FT.

WEIGHT

4

5X8

61

125

3550

4

6X8

88

60

3700

6

5X8

61

225

4150

6

6X8

88

160

4300

8

6X8

75

250

4800

8

7X12

160

100

4950

8

8X12

208

75

5000

10

7X12

160

135

5700

10

8X12

208

100

5800

10

10X12

326

60

5950

15

7X12

160

225

7500

15

8X12

208

175

7550

15

10X12

326

100

7600

20

8X12

208

250

7600

20

10X12

326

160

7700

25

8X12

208

300

9600

25

10x12

326

200

9700

A twin cylinder horizontal engine was made by the Columbus Engine Company in ratings of 85 to 250 HP in the standard style of construction with crankcase mounted on a cast iron sub-base and the lay shaft between the two cylinders to operate the valves, governor and igniter.

Another modification included ratings of 8 to 60 HP in a single cylinder horizontal unit with throttling governor with a special feature of an air control on the intake valve. Also a special electric design with a throttling governor and heavy flywheels for generator application.

The Detroit Engine Works of Detroit, Michigan built vertical two-cycle, two port water-cooled engines in the small engine field.

The cast-iron base was a part of the enclosed crankcase. The main bearings were babbitt lined and the crankshaft was extended to both sides to accommodate a flywheel on each side of the engine. There was an automatic air intake valve on the crankcase.

A double carburetor passage was built into the port area with a fuel spraying nozzle through the upper port. The fuel injection was a nozzle in the intake by-pass with a needle valve for adjustment.

The governor is a single flywheel weight with a spring for adjustment. This was connected to a movable collar on the crankshaft which operated the intake valve by an arrangement of a lever for speed control between 650 and 750 R. P. M. Lubrication is by a sight feed oiler for the cylinder and connecting rod, and grease cups for the main bearings.

These engines were mounted on wood skids and the water-cooling tank located at one end of the skids and the battery box at the other. A contact circuit breaker is. connected to a lever for spark control

The specifications of the Detroit two-cycle engines are as follows:

CHART D

HP

BORE & STROKE INCHES

RPM

FLYWHEEL DIA. IN.

CRANKSHAFT DIAMETER

WEIGHT LBS.

PRICE

2

2 15/16 X 33/8

650-750

15

17/32

165

$102.00

2?

3 1/32 X 3?

650-750

16

15/8

168

$124.00

3

3 11/16X39/16

650-750

16

15/8

200

$147.00

3?

3 13/16X39/16

650-750

16 1/8

1?

208

$170.00

5-6

4 1/8 X 4?

650-750

20

15/8

275

$232.00

7-8

4 13/16X4 11/16

650-750

20

1?

283

$270.00

The description of an interesting small engine manufacturer who specialized in portable fruit sprayers, comes from a collection of catalogs by Phil King of Granville, Massachusetts.

This is the Deyo-Macey Engine Company of Binghampton, New York. The company was organized about 1902 with R. H. Deyo as President and General Manager and F. T. Macey, Secretary and R. W. Gifford, Superintendent.

Supplying fruit sprayers to the apple district in upper New York State, they offered a portable engine-driven high pressure pump system, mounted on a steel truck complete with whiffle trees and tongue to be horse drawn. The wood spray tank had a capacity of 200 gallons with a power-driven agitator.

Engines to power these sprayers and also available as power for other applications, consisted of a single cylinder horizontal four-cycle engine made with either air or water-cooling system. The engine base and crankcase were cast in one piece. Cylinders were bolted to the base by a flange along the side. The valves were vertical poppet type in valve cages. The exhaust valve was mechanical and with an automatic intake valve.

Crankshafts were drop forged from a solid billet, turned and ground to finish. Cast iron piston with three rings were used and the connecting rods and main bearings were babbitt-lined.

The mixing valve takes fuel from the tank in the base by suction and is controlled by a needle valve and air intake. The governor is of the flywheel type of a hit and miss system and operated from a gear on the crankshaft which meshes with the timing gear. A cam actuates the push rod to control the exhaust valve which is held open during the idle strokes.

Ignition is of the jump spark type with a spark plug and battery and coil, which is located in a battery box by the engine. The flywheels were balanced and turned to finish, and there was a cover over the open crankcase.

Specifications of the Deyo-Macey Engines were:

CHART E

HP

RPM 

FLOOR SPACE INCHES

  WEIGHT
  2?

500

34X22

420

3?

500

36X22

490

2 Air-cooled

500

34X22

370

3 Air-cooled

500

36X22

450

From Phil King's library a 1911 catalog of the Gray Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan shows the many models of marine and stationary engines this company manufactured.

When I was a boy in high school at Muscatine, Iowa, we used a 3 HP vertical single cylinder Gray two-cycle engine in a Mullins 14 foot steel boat to commute to a summer home on an island up the river. It was a dependable little engine, even when the boat was named, 'The Tin Tub'.

Gray engines were all about the same design. As mentioned, they were vertical two-cycle, two port enclosed water-cooled with a water circulating pump driven from a gear on the crankshaft extension. These were made in comparatively small ratings for many kinds of applications.

The Model 'R' was a single cylinder unit in ratings of 3, 4 and 6 HP mounted on a cast iron sub-base and with double flywheels on shaft extensions and both sides of the engine. Prices included double sight feed oiler, water circulating pump, Krice carburetor and battery ignition box. 4 HP, $104.00, weight 335 lbs. 6 HP, $124.00, weight 370 lbs.

Outfit 'E' of Model 'R' was the same size units less the cast iron sub-base and priced at 4 HP, $90.00, weight 215 lbs. 6 HP, $110.00, weight 250 lbs.

Outfit 'F' of Model 'R'-same as above but with one flywheel and priced at 3 HP, $65.00, weight, 140 lbs. 4 HP, $76.00, weight, 195 lbs. 6 HP, $94.00, weight, 228 lbs. Cast iron base, $10.00 extra.

Model 'T' engines were of the same two-cycle design made in ratings of 8 and 12 HP and were equipped with water-circulating pump, carburetor, circuit breaker for speed control on the marine units, and with one marine flywheel. For stationary work they were modified with a throttling governor and two flywheels and priced at 8 HP, $186.00, 540 lbs. 12 HP, $219.00, 600 lbs. for the Model 'T' Outfit 'A'.

Model 'T', Outfit 'B', same as above except without the cast iron sub-base-8 HP, $168.00, 440 lbs. 12 HP, $196.00, 482 lbs.

Model 'T', Outfit 'C' as above, less governor-8 HP, $152.00, 420 lbs. 12 HP, $176.00, 460 lbs.

Model 'T' in two and three cylinder vertical units with throttling governor, removable cylinder heads, with water-jacketed exhaust manifold, carburetors and other standard equipment, were built in the following specifications:

CHART F

HP

RPM

BORE & STROKE-IN.

WEIGHT

PRICE

14-2cyl.

600

4? X 4

700

$260.00

16-2 '

600

4? X 5

800

$330.00

24-2 '

600

5? X 5

900

$360.00

36-3 '

600

5? X 5

1000

$560.00

The Gray Motor Company built an electric lighting plant, using the Model 'R' engine mounted on a cast iron base with a chain drive to a direct current generator. These units were designed too without a storage battery, and could furnish either 32 or 125 volt compound wound generators. At an extra price, a shunt wound generator could be supplied for battery charging type of plant.

Specifications of Gray Electric Light Plants are as follows:

CHART G

OUTFIT NO.

 CAPACITY16 C. P. LAMPS TUNGSTEN-CARBON

PRICE

1

50                                                   20

$250.00

1?

75                                                   30

$260.00

2

100                                                 40

$270.00

2?

125                                                 50

$280.00

3

150                                                 60

$300.00

This company also built a single cylinder horizontal, four-cycle with hopper cooling in ratings of 1/4 and 4 HP.

35-70 Minneapolis tractor being restored by Mr. John Sundermeyer and Mr. Harold Pries.

The cylinder and crankcase were built in one casting, with removable cylinder head that was not water-cooled. The governor was of the flywheel type, with timing and cam gear to operate the mechanical exhaust valve. The intake valve was automatic.

This four-cycle model was on wooden skids with a battery box and coil mounted next to the engine. A spark plug was used for ignition. These Gray Jr. work engines were priced as follows: 1? HP, $58.00, 200 lbs. 4 HP, $110.00, 600 lbs. A Wizard magneto could be supplied at an added price of $17.50. Also there were friction clutch pulleys available.

Gray engines were painted a light green color, with the skids and battery box a dark red in color.

The Gardner Convertible Steam and Gas Engine Company of Washington, Pennsylvania in their 1908 catalog describes the two and four-cycle engines they manufactured. For the simple type of construction, they preferred to sell the two cycle engines.

Various ratings were offered in one cylinder Model of 15-20-25 and 30 HP, and in the two cylinder machine of 30-40 and 50 HP. Their catalog did not give any engine specifications, but from the illustrations the following details could be determined.

As the company name implied, the construction of the gasoline engines were like a steam engine with an enclosed crankcase and crosshead. Cylinders were bolted to the crankcase by a flange along the side. A packing gland was used on the piston rod. Bed plate carries the main bearings set at 45? angle to care for the forward thrust of the explosion and the bearings were made of soft type of bronze.

The automatic intake valve was located on top of the cylinder. A steam engine type of governor operated on the intake fuel valve for speed control. A heated igniter tube of nickle alloy was recommended for ignition, however they could furnish electric ignition system when ordered.

Air starting was employed on 30 HP and larger units, and could be supplied on smaller rated engines. Lubrication . on the engines was supplied by mechanical lubricators for the cylinders, while a splash system was used for the main bearings and connecting rods on the closed crankcase machines.

We enjoyed a very pleasant and interesting visit with George S. Clark of Milford, Connecticut. George has spent considerable time with restoration of antique automobiles, but recently has become interested in gasoline engines.

Among his engines arc two very unique and rare small units. A two cylinder vertical two-cycle Sieverkropp engine built at Racine, Wisconsin has the cylinders in line and side by side lengthwise of the block. The pistons operate on the same throw of the crankshaft making both pistons reach top dead center simultaneously. The spark plug is placed between the two cylinders and serves to ignite both cylinder charges of fuel at the same time. A single carburetor supplies both cylinders, and one exhaust muffler is used. Fuel reaches the carburetor by suction from the fuel tank in the cast iron sub-base.

This is my collection of engines to be restored. Starting at the left: 2? HP Model E Economy Webster mag, 2? Model E Economy battery, 4 Nova, 2? Model E Economy Wico mag and an 8 HP Nova. Since the picture was taken, I have built a shed over the engines. I sure was not going to move the engines again.

The second odd engine is a 'Pony Friend' made by the Friend Manufacturing Company of Case port, New York. This is a combination engine and pump. The engine is a single cylinder, horizontal, totally enclosed crankcase engine with a ball-like cooling water hopper.

Built on the flywheel side of the engine is a large double reduction gear to a shaft extending crosswise under the cylinder head to a Scotch yoke on the opposite side. Through this yoke a single cylinder plunger type pump is driven, and which undoubtedly was used as a spray pump for fruit trees.

Any readers having literature or further details on these unusual units; the writer would appreciate the use of such information to augment the above meager description for a future article.